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India empowers agencies to snoop on computers; critics decry ‘surveillance state’

NEW DELHI: India has authorized 10 federal government agencies to intercept and monitor information from any computer, a move opposition parties said on Friday risked creating a “surveillance state”. The interior ministry said late on Thursday the agencies could “intercept, monitor and decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer” under an Information Technology Act. “For the nation’s security, these agencies have been made accountable so that no one else can do these activities,”…

Apple and Microsoft team up to help the blind use computers with plug-and-play braille

Apple, Microsoft and a handful of other tech companies are making it so you can plug in a Braille display much like a mouse or keyboard. The companies have teamed up with the USB Implementers Forum, a nonprofit that promotes adoption of USB tech, to integrate Braille into a new USB Human Interface Device (HID) standard (PDF). People with vision disabilities often rely on Braille, but some Braille displays only work with certain PCs or require additional software and drivers to use. The new HID standard helps…

Security flaws put virtually all phones, computers at risk

FRANKFURT/SAN FRANCISCO: Security researchers on Wednesday disclosed a set of security flaws that they said could let hackers steal sensitive information from nearly every modern computing device containing chips from Intel, Advanced Micro Devices and ARM Holdings. One of the bugs is specific to Intel but another affects laptops, desktop computers, smartphones, tablets and internet servers alike. Intel and ARM insisted that the issue was not a design flaw, but it will require users to download a patch and update their…